Do you love matcha? We do too. This finely ground powder from high-quality tea leaves has a pleasant, earthy taste and striking green color. Many people try matcha for the first time as hot tea or an iced latte. It’s versatile enough for many recipes, including matcha chocolate** bars.
The first time you taste quality dark chocolate or matcha powder is an experience. We compare it to trying premium coffee or fine wine. This delicious chocolate has a unique history and health benefits you won’t find from other bars.
Before you dive in and enjoy your first piece of matcha chocolate, we’ll share everything you need to know about it. This guide celebrates matcha chocolate and our new small-batch collaboration with the matcha and mochi masters at Third Culture Bakery. Find out what’s in matcha and how to make matcha chocolate. Then, discover premium Uji matcha in the Perfect Matcha bar.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha comes from the camellia sinensis plant like other teas. One of the differences is that farmers grow and process it differently. They shade the plants to increase chlorophyll production. The extra chlorophyll gives the leaves their signature green color and grassy flavor.
Matcha is ground into a fine powder. This powder makes tea and lattes that you’ll see in bakeries and tea shops around the globe. You will also find matcha in baked goods and desserts.
The History of Matcha
To make the perfect matcha, you must first understand its history. “Matcha powder dates back to the 19th century in the Uji region of Japan,” said Third Culture Bakery owners Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu. “Monks used it to keep themselves awake during meditation.”
Eventually, preparing the perfect cup of matcha became a devotional exercise. During a matcha tea ceremony, the matcha powder is whisked with a bamboo brush into boiling water. Instead of straining, the leaves are left in the water and consumed as a warm, frothy mixture. Creating matcha powder and matcha tea from start to finish is an exquisite, laborious process. Even today, matcha’s high standards make it one of the most sought-after tea types on the market.
Making Premium Matcha
The best way to make premium matcha is to learn from the best farmers and manufacturers. “We went to the matcha farms in Kyoto, Japan, to learn more about the process and factory,” explained Sam and Wenter. “We met the farmers and the distributors and worked directly with them to make the blend.”
Throughout their stay, they discovered that farming matcha is exceptionally sustainable. “It is one of the more sustainable plants and needs less water. You can’t harvest it; instead, it’s hand-picked with no machinery,” said Wenter. “We saw how matcha is shade grown, with tarps over it. This method translates to fewer tannins and less stress. With matcha farming, there’s less carbon footprint.”
Matcha Grades and Quality
Like coffee or wine, matcha is on a quality and flavor spectrum. Matcha grades can help determine what the matcha powder tastes like and how to use the matcha in recipes. Here is a look at each grade and its uses:
Culinary matcha features a brownish-yellow color. Its quality rating is considered lower than ceremonial or premium matcha. Taste a recipe with culinary-grade powder and you’ll notice top floral grassy notes and some bitterness. It’s suitable for some recipes, but others require a higher grade for a better look and flavor.
Ceremonial matcha is of good quality and features a dull green color. “It’s higher quality than culinary matcha,” said Wenter. “Only the youngest top leaves are chosen for the powder. Its bitter taste pairs well with fruit notes and caramel flavor.”
Third Culture Premium Matcha
There is quality matcha, and then there’s Third Culture Bakery’s premium matcha. “Premium matcha is a blend of ceremonial and culinary-grade matcha cut through milk and sugars,” explained Wenter. This matcha is of excellent quality. It has an impressive bright green hue you’ll notice from afar. Its premium formula makes it the perfect choice for daily tea drinking. You can also add it to any recipe, from lattes to baked goods.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Why can you feel good about matcha in your chocolate? Matcha has various potential health benefits to nourish your mind and body. First, it’s rich in plant compounds called catechins. These natural antioxidants can stabilize harmful free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Catechins can reduce inflammation and the risk of developing certain forms of cancer.
“It’s packed with 137x more antioxidants than steeped tea,” Wenter explained. “As an added benefit, the L-Theanine in matcha induces calm and stillness when you drink.”
Randomized clinical trials show that consuming matcha decreases stress and can boost your energy and attention span. Other research suggests that matcha can provide an antidepressant effect. Matcha helps to support heart health and cognitive performance.
Naturally occurring compounds like polyphenols provide even more antioxidant power, while the theanine found in matcha can help to maintain a healthy mood and normal sleep cycle.
The powder has more natural caffeine than other green tea types but contains less caffeine than your average cup of coffee. While it may give you an extra boost in the morning, it’s a creamy, antioxidant-rich choice for an afternoon break. With some caffeine content, matcha is also known as a coffee alternative. “This year, many companies are adding mushrooms to matcha,” said Wenter. “Everyone is looking for coffee alternatives. You feel better without coffee.”
Matcha Nutritional Profile
Natural matcha powder is naturally low in carbohydrates and calories, which makes it a perfect companion to our plant-based chocolate. Chemical analysis of the matcha green tea nutritional profile shows that matcha includes vitamins like A and C. It also contains B-complex and zinc. Matcha features essential minerals and vitamins E and K. A well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet can help support the absorption of matcha nutrients.
Why Matcha Chocolate?
High-quality cacao and premium plant-based chocolate have a complex flavor profile to support a variety of delicious pairings and inclusions. At TCHO, we complement our vegan chocolate by adding plant-based ingredients. Our TCHO pros love cooking and baking with matcha so much that we couldn’t leave this pairing out of our collection of chocolate bars.
Matcha powder goes well with all types of chocolate because of its nuttiness and grassy notes. Slow down to taste your matcha, and you’ll notice sweetness and bitterness. Some say matcha has savory, umami features.
Our chocolate makers find that sweet and savory matcha flavors go exceptionally well with oat milk chocolate. Chocolate bars and baking discs made with oat milk have a creamy, caramelly taste with a hint of tartness. If you’re searching for a new and exciting flavor of chocolate, this is it. Matcha and oat milk chocolate will excite your taste buds and give you a completely new flavor experience.
How to Make Matcha Chocolate
You can melt any chocolate and combine it with matcha powder to make delicious matcha desserts or matcha chocolate bars. The creamy, caramelly flavors of oat milk chocolate or the rich, fudgy flavors of dark chocolate combine with matcha’s nutty and grassy to create a gourmet tasting experience.
Combine bitter, vegetal matcha with bright and creamy white chocolate. The best part about matcha white chocolate is the beautiful green hue that comes through the white confection. To make matcha chocolate vegan, use plant-based chocolate and swap dairy ingredients for non-dairy products. If you want to make your own, try our delicious Oat My Gawd 46% oat milk chocolate.
Best Uses for Matcha and Chocolate
Matcha and chocolate are not only delicious in bar form; you can combine the two flavors and put them into your recipes. Some bakers make delicate matcha cookies or matcha cakes. If you’re interested in matcha recipes with chocolate, try our easy and delicious Mochi Brownies with Roasted Matcha Whipped Cream or our Iced Hot Chocolate with Roasted Matcha. These recipes are made with matcha powder and classic TCHO products like Hawt Chocolate drinking chocolate crumbles and our non-alkalized Super Powder cocoa powder.
Matcha powder can flavor vegan chocolate cheesecake or brighten the taste of almond milk smoothies with chocolatey roasted cacao nibs. Enjoy vegan matcha chocolate nice cream, or add chocolate shavings on top of refreshing matcha shaved ice. Make matcha for breakfast by adding just the right amount of powder to chocolate pancakes or donuts.
TCHO’s Matcha Chocolate Bars
Recipes with matcha and chocolate are so good that you may wish you had both flavors in one chocolate bar. That’s why we partnered with Sam and Wenter at Third Culture Bakery to launch a soon-to-be cult favorite. Perfect Matcha vegan chocolate bars just may be the world’s most delicious chocolate bar. Yes, it is TCHO’s oat milk chocolate with some of the most exciting inclusions to date!
Perfect Matcha Vegan Chocolate Bars by TCHO and Third Culture Bakery
What’s behind the Perfect Matcha? We’re partnering with the best bakery around to create a matcha chocolate bar you won’t be able to put down. Inspired by Third Culture Bakery’s amazing matcha and signature strawberry matcha latte, this delicious new chocolate bar flavor is one of our most exciting small-batch collaborations.
“We always resisted matcha because everyone else did it, but Sam cooks with lychee and strawberry puree,” said Wenter. The milkiness of the oat milk balances the grassiness, and you get the fruity, tart strawberry flavor. It’s like adult strawberry milk with matcha on top. It’s a top-seller.”
Perfect Matcha combines the taste experience of a creamy oat milk latte with a sweet strawberry filling. First, we take our 100% plant-based oat milk chocolate and add premium Uji matcha hand-picked by Third Culture Bakery. Next, we add strawberries for just the right touch of fresh fruit sweetness to give you a spectrum of inviting flavor in a single bite of chocolate.
The Perfect Matcha chocolate bar is like having a strawberry matcha latte in a piece of chocolate. It’s so good that you’ll want to take it on the go. It’s wholesome enough to travel with and exceptional enough to take to a party.
Enjoying the Zen-Like Taste of Matcha Chocolate
If you’re craving matcha and chocolate, it’s the perfect time to try our Perfect Matcha chocolate bar. Matcha chocolate will take you to a Zen-like state with its earthy flavor and essential nutrients. If you haven’t tried matcha chocolate before, begin with the Perfect Matcha bar. We use only the highest-quality matcha powder and plant-based TCHO chocolate to create the sweetest chocolate tasting experience yet.
Buy Perfect Matcha as a chocolate gift or keep a few bars for yourself. Does chocolate go bad? TCHO vegan chocolate bars will last a while if they’re stored properly. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature, and you can enjoy your matcha chocolate bars for months on end.
Some chocolate bars need a food or beverage pairing, but Perfect Matcha has such a unique flavor experience that it’ll satisfy you on its own. You’ll feel like you’re drinking a delicious strawberry matcha latte while hanging out on your couch. Perfect Matcha won’t spill, but it sure tastes like the latte you wanted all day long. Indulge in matcha with oat milk chocolate and find your new favorite flavor.